(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah - Strong defense and consistent offense led the BYU football team to a 42-7 win over the Idaho Vandals on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
BYU (7-3) had a balanced attack of 262 passing yards, and 243 rushing yards to help beat Idaho (2-8,1-4). The Cougar defense held the Vandals to 241 total yards, including just 50 passing yards. BYU limited Idaho to minus-2 passing yards on four complete passes in the first half.
"I think our team was anxious to play," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall
said. "It certainly added to their excitement level to play another game. It was a cleanly played football game, a few penalties at the end, but overall a cleanly played game. Another solid football game and another chance to improve and I think we did and now we move forward."
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy
recorded a career-high 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss, one sack and forced a fumble. Cornerback Jordan Johnson
and linebacker Spencer Hadley
each intercepted a pass for the Cougars.
Quarterback Jake Heaps
came in for an injured Riley Nelson
in the first quarter and completed 15 of 20 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson was 4 of 7 for 56 yards and one touchdown before leaving with a chest injury.
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman
caught six passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half. Running back Michael Alisa
had 10 carries for 99 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run, and running back Bryan Kariya
scored two touchdowns on the ground while picking up 35 yards.
The Cougars missed a field goal on their first possession but went on to score touchdowns on the next five possessions. Nelson completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Hoffman and gave BYU a 7-0 lead with 8:26 left in the first quarter and then left the game for good.
Heaps came in relief on the next drive. The sophomore led a 9-play, 78-yard drive ending in a 17-yard rushing touchdown from Kariya. Heaps was 3 of 3 on the drive for 42 yards. BYU led 14-0 after the score with 1:18 left in the first quarter. On the Cougars next possession, Kariya punched in another touchdown from one yard out, giving BYU a 21-0 lead.
With just 1:23 left in the half, the Cougar offense took over and added one more touchdown before the break. Heaps completed four passes for 60 yards on the drive. Hoffman grabbed his second touchdown of the game, bringing down a 21-yarder to give BYU a 28-0 lead at the half.
BYU got another touchdown on its first possession of the second half. This time Alisa took a handoff 38 yards on the ground for six and Justin Sorensen
’s extra point made it 35-0 with 12:31 left in the third quarter.
Continuing to get a lot of help from the defense, BYU continued to pound away at Idaho. Jordan Johnson
got his second interception of the season, setting the Cougars up with a short 22-yard field. Heaps connected with wide receiver Ross Apo
for a 18-yard touchdown pass and stretched the lead to 42-0 with 5:37 on the clock in the third quarter.
The Vandals broke up the shutout on the ensuing drive. Idaho’s running back got around the edge for 82 yards all the way into the end zone making it 42-7.
BYU returns to LaVell Edwards Stadium next week to host the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m. MST. The game will be televised live on ESPNU.